Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category
With so much happening lately I’ve been ingesting a large amount of news. But for the first time I’ve obtained a significant portion of my news from Twitter. I would estimate about 40% of the information I’ve gathered on the unrest in Ferguson came via Twitter. Nowadays news really does break on Twitter first. Plus Twitter provides a diversity of opinions that has largely been absent from the television coverage I’ve seen. Of course, it is difficult to drown out all of the noise and false information that is a part of Twitter. But I’ve gotten better at cutting through the nonsense thanks to @OpFerguson
The @OpFerguson Twitter feed is the real deal. Through constant updates and re-tweets I’ve heard a chorus of voices directly from the streets of Ferguson. And the strongest voices have really shined through much of the darkness surrounding the last two weeks. I really ate up this large helping of information and relevance, especially after the wasteland that was Facebook’s reactions to the event. This was pretty much everyone who posted on my Facebook feed last week.
Twitter really elevated the conversation in my opinion, and I respect what the platform is capable of now. I was on Twitter so much lately that I used it to recruit the majority of the guys that came with me to Tuesday Nite Heckle Club. For the first time, I have personally witnessed new media being just as relevant as traditional media. My eyes and ears are open like never before!
Getting older is only funny when it happens to your friends. Take my buddy Dave for instance. We met up for lunch at Lion’s Choice today to celebrate his 35th birthday tomorrow. We ordered our usual large roast beef with swiss, extra seasoning. So far so good. But then tragedy strikes when we get to sauce station. No horseradish!
Dave cried for a good five minutes. It was pathetic.1
What happened to the care free, happy-go-lucky hippie I knew in college? The guy with the long hair and the tongue ring? What we need is a #WaybackWednesday picture to hopefully remind Dave of the groovey days back around the turn of the century. Here’s that laughing hippie with Maria & I back in May 2001.
Look at that happy young man. What happened to his carefree life? Has old age broken this shining spirit?2
1. Not factually correct. We tried chipotle ranch and were mildly satisfied.
2. Of Course not. Dave is still as happy-go-lucky ever. This whole post was a lie.3
3. Well, except for the part about chipotle ranch being a decent alternative.
Yesterday I mentioned that my father’s whole family came to St. Louis for the wedding of my sister. Today I thought I would elaborate on why that was such a huge deal for me. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about since I was a little kid. Allow me to explain.
Let’s see, where should I start? My mother was the second oldest of a large family from here in St. Louis. My father was the second oldest of an even larger family from Philadelphia. When my parents started dating in the mid-1970s both of their families became good friends. They were such good friends that both families would routinely travel to visit each other. Here’s a couple of fun #WaybackWednesday pictures that illustrate this friendship.
These pictures were from a trip my mom’s family took to Valley Forge for the Bicentennial celebration in 1976. The first is my mother’s parents along with my father’s mom. The second picture is my mom’s brothers along with a couple of my father’s brothers and his sister. They hung out quite a bit in the late Seventies and took a bunch of pictures together as one big family. The most famous was the human pyramid they made in my mother’s family’s front yard.
Both of the families were great friends, so much so that there was even some co-mingling among the siblings. That right, for a brief time my mom’s older brother dated my dad’s younger sister. And also one of my dad’s younger brothers dated my mom’s younger sister. Crazy!
What is important to note is that all of this happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s, way before I remember anything. After my parents split in 1982 and I moved back to St. Louis I would never see both families together again. When I would visit my dad’s family in Philly during summer breaks his family would all ask about my mother’s family back in St Louis. And when I would return from Philly my mother’s family all wanted to hear about my time with my dad’s family. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized how strange it is for all of my family to be friends with each other. I made it through most of grade school thinking it was like this for everyone.
As a kid I dreamed about my father’s mother and five siblings coming to visit me in St. Louis. Eventually I realized that getting 6 adults to come visit St. Louis at the same time was not feasible. But I knew that one day they would all come when one of us got married. This was not the case when I got married, as I had everyone fly down to Florida for my beach nuptials. So instead it was my sister’s union that brought both families to St. Louis one more time. The gang was all together for the after wedding brunch I mentioned yesterday. And as you can see, we left our mark on the sign!
And that nite I had my dad’s whole family over to my place for the evening. It was a real treat for me.
But the real treasure was having my grandmother in town one more time.
My Nana isn’t getting around as well as she used to, so her making the trip to St. Louis for the wedding was extra special.
Having both sides of my family together made for an unforgettable week. So a big thanks to my sister for finally getting hitched and making my dream finally come true!
How was your Labor Day weekend? Mine was painful and nauseating, thanks to this little bastard wisdom tooth that wanted to grow in sideways.
The good news is that the wisdom tooth is gone for good. The whole removal process took less than half an hour thanks to a generous helping of local anesthesia and a very determined oral surgeon. The bad news is that the process left me wrecked. The left side of my face has swollen to chipmunk size and I still have a massive cut on my lip from the surgeon yanking my mouth open to access the tooth. I’m not sure what kind of fish hook he was using to open up my mouth, but it was by far the most painful part of the procedure and it left quite a gash that still hasn’t healed.
I was home from the wisdom tooth removal by noon on Friday, and I went straight to the couch where I’ve been ever since. The pain hasn’t been too terrible thanks to a giant bottle of painkillers. But the nausea has been a real monster. I puked up a lot of blood Friday nite along with a lot of everything else, as it took a good twelve hours for the incision site in my mouth to stop bleeding. And to think this was only from one tooth; taking out all four must really be a bitch!
The rest of my weekend has been pretty slow and pretty loopy. Starting Saturday I’ve had three days straight of this
Lying on the couch watching a bunch of dumb movies with the doggies. Desmond has been determined to help me feel better. Now after three days of soft food and taking it easy, I’m trying to prepare myself to go back to work tomorrow. But between the swelling and bruises on my face and the fact that tomorrow is my birthday, I really just wanna stay home one more day. Damn those four days flew by fast!
As part of my #WaybackWednesday look at my Year On The Road, I want to look at more than just the places I visited. Lots of other things were occurring in my life at the time that are worth discussing. But first, here’s a picture of me grimacing at a Caesar salad from April 20th, 2003.
In this picture I am eating lunch with Kristi in Nashville and I’m attempting to make peace with vegetables. After a long fought war against anything leafy and green that lasted all of my adolescence, 2003 was the year I finally negotiated a cease fire.
Spending 2-3 weeks at a time on the road meant eating out all of the time and all on my boss’ dime. Which was pretty cool once I got over the awkwardness of repeatedly asking for a table for one. It gave me the opportunity to try lots of different restaurants and lots of different types of food. The first couple of months I mostly ordered expensive steak and seafood dishes. But pretty quickly I discovered that heavy meals and long drives aren’t the best for my body. Eventually I decided that if my metabolism was didn’t resemble that of my youth then neither should my diet.
It was good timing, since I had every day to order something new. I started small with salads and side orders of green beans; eventually I discovered several vegetables that I enjoy, like broccoli, cauliflower and squash. It took me a long time to embrace vegetables, and I still struggle with a few of them. But ten years later I’m glad that I finally made peace. I’ll still always prefer a burger to a salad, but at least now I order my burger with lettuce and tomato.